Living in an RV or motorhome is often the most expedient and straightforward method of relocating on one’s own property. Many individuals are unsure if they may legally live in an RV and what states allow you to live in an RV on your property, so here we decided to share what we’ve learned with everyone.
How can I live in my Camper on my own land?
If you have the right licenses, you may legally reside in an RV or camper on your own property in many places. Before you can live in an RV full time, you’ll either need a septic system and well, or a connection to public services.
RV licenses may be a little troublesome to get. With so much contradicting information out there, We’ve attempted to make the processes plain and straightforward so that you may legally move into your own RV on private property.
Living full-time in an RV on your land: Legal Parameters
In order to live in an RV full-time while staying within the legal parameters, these are the measures you need to take. If you’re accustomed to renting or purchasing a house that has already been completed, this list may seem overwhelming.
- Contact the building department in your county to find out what permits are needed (if any)
- Make sure to check with the local health department to find out whether or not you require a septic system or well.
- Consider assigning a street address to your property.
For the average homeowner, the developer who built the house you reside in has taken care of most or all of these tasks for you. RVers, on the other hand, will have to bear some of the burdens since full-time RV life is still a niche phenomenon, despite the apparent advantages of cost savings and total independence.
Do you need a permit for your RV?
If you plan on living in your RV full-time, you’ll need a permit from the county, but city rules and HOA covenants may also have an impact.
Building rules and zoning standards are the first things to verify with your county building office to see what is required. Using the attached map, you can quickly locate the phone number and website for the appropriate county.
When two or less RVs have been parked on private land in my local county, there are no additional restrictions. If we plan to construct a deck or an outbuilding, for example, we should check whether a permit is required.
In order to live permanently in an RV, you may also be required to construct a septic system, a well, and an allowed driveway.
Do Mobile or Manufactured Home Laws apply to RVs?
In many jurisdictions, including my own, prefabricated or mobile homes are subject to unique regulations and permissions. You may not know whether these regulations apply to your RV since it is transportable.
Since most states use the national definition, your RV definitely isn’t classified as a mobile home under your state’s definition. Check your state and county regulations to be sure they don’t apply to you before you begin a new project.
It’s a catch-all word in the United States, and it may refer to a wide range of constructions. Your county may have a different definition. Mobile homes in my county may only be constructed before 1976 if they meet the current criteria for prefabricated houses. As a result, in most circumstances, RVs are not considered mobile homes, but rather recreational vehicles.
Do you need a Septic or Well for your RV?
As long as you have an approved well and/or septic, you may not require a complete construction permit for full-time living in your RV.
In many states and counties, the health department, or a comparable agency, determines whether or not your property requires sanitary amenities. To be sure, check with your local health authority, but in many countries I’ve checked, there is a regulation that waste handling be provided on any plot where people would be living for more than a few months. We wouldn’t take any chances.
A septic system is a preferred alternative to relying on a public sewage system in places where it isn’t accessible. Ground permeability testing, state inspections, and regular maintenance are required for septic systems. This means that you may need to dig an additional well in order to meet the requirements of your county’s septic system. Wells also needs electricity for the pump, which necessitates either grid power or an off-grid method.
A few counties, like in Idaho, allow composting toilets or pit toilets in specific off-grid scenarios in order to meet the county’s standards.
Even if your county doesn’t allow for alternate systems, keep in mind that most ordinances merely indicate that septic must be provided, but do not mandate its usage. As long as you’re working enough to comply with the code, you may employ biogas digesters, humanure composting toilets, or other waste management techniques as your principal method of waste management while still adhering to the legislation.
Can you get an address for your RV?
For the most part, if you only have an RV on your property, you can receive an address.
Your county zoning and planning agency or any other entity distinct from the building department may give you an application for an address, which is often part of the building permit procedure for conventional construction. Even if you don’t intend to erect a permanent structure on your land, you may be able to apply straight to that office for an address.
It’s unusual to get an address without a construction permission, therefore you may face some opposition or red tape from the county authorities. However, if you know the law and are courteous, you can go a long way.
Most counties include a set of guidelines and a checklist you may use to see whether you meet the requirements for requesting an address. In our county, this boils down to obtaining a driveway permit and putting it in place.
If a driveway is longer than a specific distance, it may be required to do a turn about if the distance is more than a given amount of distance from the main road.
Depending on the location of your property, you may also be required to show the correct street numbers.
As a last resort, you may choose to consult with a local road builder who has built rural roadways that fulfill state and county standards.
How to claim your RV as a Permanent Residence?
There are a lot of questions about the legal status of an RV as a permanent home for tax reasons or in a state.
It is possible to claim an RV as a permanent home. Yes. Your RV might be deemed a permanent home when it comes time to file federal income taxes and other official reasons.
When an RV meets the following criteria, the IRS considers it to be a house for tax purposes:
Even if your RV does not have a permanent location or if it is not parked at a property, you may designate it as your principal home for tax reasons.
You may acquire an address allocated to the property where you regularly park your RV in order to meet additional requirements, such as demonstrating state residence or the financial necessity for a house. If you have any queries regarding how to have an address allocated to your property, please refer to the instructions above. For the most part, you may use this address as a “mailing address” or a physical place.
Best States in the US to live full-time in an RV
There are several states that allow RV-living full-time, but the following are the most popular destinations.
- South Dakota
- Washington State
There are less restrictions on where you may lawfully park an RV for a lengthy period of time in states with large open areas such as Eastern Washington, Nevada, and the others listed above. Generally speaking, zoning and use restrictions are less stringent when there is more space. Additionally, there are a lot more inexpensive land alternatives now.
Consider the weather and the surroundings as well. Choosing a moderate climate that you appreciate may go a long way toward making the RV lifestyle pleasurable for long-term year-round occupancy in an RV. For full-time RV life, the listed states have mild winters and few harsh weather conditions. They also provide access to breathtaking scenery and national parks, so it’s worth it towing your RV a little farther every now and again.
Because RVers tend to be budget-conscious, whether saving money or just free-spirited, the taxes and other expenditures might play a significant role. ‘ Consider the cost of property taxes and sales taxes when deciding where to park your RV in a tax-free state on the list.
Can you legally park your RV on a Property of someone else?
Be aware of local zoning and usage rules while living in a recreational vehicle, as with any other kind of living arrangement. If your city or county prohibits RV dwelling, you may be able to park your RV on someone else’s property if you obtain permission from the owner.
When parking your RV for a lengthy period of time, be careful to verify local rules as well as any HOA or other restrictions that apply to the property.
As a precaution, be aware that if the landowner charges you to dwell there, the state may designate it as an “operating and RV park.” Special permits are required for RV parking facilities in most states and counties because of their unique rules and requirements. For an RV park to be considered in my county, there must be at least two or more RVs on the land, but if money changes hands, other counties may not be so indulgent.
In addition, if you pay to reside there, extra tenants’ rights may apply that might make residing in an RV on that land unlawful. If you’re not sure whether or not anything is legal, you should definitely consult with a local attorney.
One thing you can do as a tenant if you’re worried is making sure no money is exchanged. You may be able to pay your rent in goods or services rather than cash in certain situations, avoiding the hassle of becoming a tenant and all that entails. Often, like in this instance, the greatest protection against future problems is a combination of creative thinking and hard labor.
6 Best Tips for you to live in an RV Park
If you’re not a fan of traveling, an RV park is an excellent alternative for full-time RV life. Even while it may seem straightforward, there are many complexities that you should be aware of in order to have a smooth experience.
When you’re living full-time in an RV park, here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. Buy the biggest RV you can
For living in an RV park full-time, we recommend that you acquire the largest RV you can afford. Consider delaying your RV lifestyle change for a few months while you save the funds necessary to purchase a high-quality and well-equipped RV.
Despite the fact that your goal may be to spend all of your time at an RV park, we believe that you should consider a bit farther ahead. Over time, you don’t know what your demands and abilities will be.
A self-contained RV with a complete kitchen and bathroom is all that is required to camp at almost any park. Despite the fact that there are several campsites in the United States that provide every amenity an RVer could need, you may be unable to locate one of these campgrounds, or it may be out of your price range.
Because of this, having a self-sufficient RV that can meet your primary requirements even at a subpar RV park makes sense.
In addition, a self-sufficient RV would enable you to effortlessly transition from a fixed to a mobile RV lifestyle without having to purchase a new RV!
If you can, wait a bit longer and save some money to acquire a superior RV that can function regardless of where you are in the United States.
2. Do not buy a Motorhome
If you want to remain in an RV park full-time and avoid any travel, you may want to avoid purchasing a motorhome. Having a self-propelled RV is pointless if you’re not going to use it.
The price of motorhomes might be prohibitive, but towing an RV can save you money. In addition, a towable RV would provide greater comfort for less money than a motorhome!
The powertrain of a motorhome also needs to be serviced. In the same vein, why burden yourself with unnecessary expenses if you have no plans to go at all?
To that end, if you’re not ruling out the possibility of living in an RV someday, you may want to consider purchasing a motorhome. Remember that RVs may be pricey.
3. Do not buy a towing Vehicle
This applies to towable RVs, such as fifth wheels, toy haulers, campers, and travel trailers.
Similar to not purchasing a motorhome, the rationale here is that you do not need a towing car if you do not plan to travel. After all, it’ll simply sit there taking up room and maybe costing you money to maintain.
Towing your RV to the RV park may be a question you’re asking yourself right now. There are a slew of options available to you in this regard.
As a buyer, you have the option of having your RV transported to the campground where you plan on staying. Alternatively, you may pay a nominal charge to have your RV towed to its desired destination.
When it comes time to leave the park, you may either engage a towing company or enlist the support of your neighbors.
4. Carefully research RV Parks
When you are preparing to live full-time in an RV park, it is imperative that you look into the types of parks that are available in your region. In fact, we believe this should be the first step in your preparation for RV park life, even before you begin searching for a suitable RV.
A bad experience would ensue if you purchased an RV only to discover that there are no suitable campgrounds in your region. First and foremost, it would be inconvenient and expensive if you were to relocate your RV to a park distance from where you now dwell.
Thousands of RV parks may be found around the United States, each with a unique combination of amenities and services. If you’re looking for more than a place to sleep, several RV parks include plenty of amenities including clean restrooms and electrical grids.
Among the things that your RV park should have are:
- Grills or BBQ
- Landline phone service
- Laundry rooms
5. Pay special attention to Security
In general, RV parks are either nice or awful. If you’re looking for an RV park that has everything you could possibly want, you may be disappointed. RV parks, on the other hand, might have a high level of security or none at all.
First and foremost, you’ll want to choose an RV park that has a high level of security. . The safety of the park’s occupants will be ensured by the presence of security guards and police protection in a decent park.
When it comes to RV park security, these are a good foundation, but you should not depend only on the RV park’s management.
It doesn’t matter how well your park’s security is guarded, your valuables are still at risk from intruders.
6. Build relationships with people in the Park
The RV park will be home to a large number of other RVers. Among them will be individuals of all ages and backgrounds, as well as those from other countries. It’s possible that some people have stayed at the park because of health or financial concerns, while others are just stopping for a rest before continuing their trip.
You’ll meet a lot of people at an RV park, and you’ll form new friendships. Some people will be easy to get along with, while others may cause you trouble.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is it legal to live in an RV?
Yes, you can live in an RV legally. To be on the safe side, be sure to check with your local government to see if there are any restrictions on where you may park your RV. If you want to park in one location or on your own property on a long-term basis, you may also require access to water and sewage.
Can you claim an RV as a Permanent Residence?
In many states, yes, an RV may be claimed as a permanent home for tax reasons. A building is considered a main (or secondary) dwelling by the IRS if it has a place to sleep, eat and relieve oneself. If you need an address for any other reason, you may acquire one for your RV just as you would for a regular house.
Can we live in a Camper in the Backyard of my House?
No! because they are not considered permanent residences by the Department of Housing and Urban Development in the United States. Only recreational, travel or camping-related uses are allowed by the federal government.
Everyone would adopt this lifestyle if it were simple. Because of this, there are going to be obstacles. Make the decision if it makes you happy despite the difficulties. There is nothing wrong with having a fear of the unknown. Having a better understanding of the world might make it less frightening.
While RVing isn’t for everyone, the fact that they’re even thinking about it tells a lot about their character. There’s a good probability you’ll like something if you feel compelled to do it for whatever reason.
For any assistance over this topic or any other law-related issues, feel free to write to The Law Advisory.
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